Yes, definitely, and this seems to be a controversial opinion because the ef adaptation is very highly rated basically everywhere. Note that I only watched the first season, and that was also a long time ago.
I played the VN first and it's one of the best VNs I've ever played. If you haven't played it, there are 5 separate arcs (the VN is linear with one heroine, but the arcs have different protagonists) split up into two games. The first season of the adaptation adapts the first three arcs, which are the first game and the first arc of the second game, which is strange considering these arcs are meant to be sequential and yet in the anime they happen simultaneously.
The game gets progressively more depressing as the arcs go on, culminating in the final arc. Therefore, the first two arcs aren't really that depressing, the main thing I liked about it is the love triangle being portrayed very realistically. Unfortunately, like most VN adaptations, the slow-paced style of the VN turns into ADHD like rapid speed with multiple arcs being shown in one episode shoving a 30 hour game and the first third of another 30 hour game into a single cour. And yet, shaft STILL has the time to have five minutes of absolutely nothing happening except text appearing on the screen for no reason other than to portray the heroine of the first arc as having crippling dependency issues, which she doesn't in the VN. The drama is ramped up to a million, making the "realistic love triangle" into yet another example of a love triangle where the characters are insane and do extremely inhumane things to each other for no apparent reason.
It's a real shame, because I love ALL of shaft's other shows of this era, and yet ef seems to stick out like a sore thumb as the only shaft show that I really truly hate. The only real positive about it is that it looks gorgeous and the symbolism, but that's expected of the studio.